From happiness to confusion, maraming emosyon ang dulot ng pagtatapos sa kolehiyo. After all, you’re receiving a well-earned diploma after studying for many years. Congratulations! But after graduating, what comes next?
Fresh grads are confronted with a rollercoaster of emotions… and an unknown future. Maraming pagbabago, walang kasiguraduhan, at walang blueprint sa kung ano ang dapat mong gawin. But don’t worry! Every fresh grad goes through the same bittersweet feelings. Kung ikaw ay isang fresh grad, you may be able to relate to the five stages after graduation.
Stage 1: The graduation high
Congratulations! Nakapagtapos ka na. No more all-nighters, no more exams, and no more graded recitations. It’s all done. After all those years of studying, marami kang plano mag bakasyon at magpahinga. May oras ka na para sa mga bagay na hindi mo nagagawa noong kolehiyo. This is a time when everything looks promising and exciting. However, after a while, you realize that graduation is only the beginning of a new chapter in your life, and the excitement wears off with the realities of a new and unfamiliar territory.
Stage 2: Struggling with job hunting
Gusto mong magpahinga pero may pressure na makahanap agad ng trabaho. When you first look for a job, you realize that there are a lot of things that you have to prepare for. Mula sa pagkuha ng mga valid ID, paggawa ng resume, at pagsabak sa mga job interviews. Nahihirapan kang maghanap ng trabaho dahil fresh grad ka pa lang at kaunti ang iyong work experience. There’s also the matter of dealing with rejection from job applications, and the struggle of seeing your batchmates get hired while you’re still looking for a job. Hear us out: Be patient. Take your time and do your best. You will eventually get hired and find a job that fits you!
Stage 3: Learning how to be an adult
Now that you have a job, you’re slowly reaping the benefits of your education. But the responsibilities also start to sink in a.k.a. the struggle of “adulting.” Hindi ka sigurado kung paano gawin ang maraming bagay. You realize that the challenges you had in college are similar to the challenges of being a professional, only with more real-world impact and consequences (e.g., working overtime, dealing with challenging colleagues, lacking sleep). From finances to workload, there are many things you have to be responsible with. Think of this stage as the growing pains. Learn to be gracious with yourself while you learn how to be an adult. After all, you are still learning.
Stage 4: The existential crisis
While existential crises occur many times throughout college, it still happens after college. Iniisip mo ang mga pressure sa trabaho at iba pang mga pressure sa buhay. Tinatanong mo sa sarili mo: Masaya ba ako sa pinili kong trabaho? Paano ako makakapag-ipon? Kailan ako makakapagpahinga? Fresh grads are under a lot of personal, professional, and social pressure. While all are valid, remember that you don’t need to have everything figured out, at least not all at once. Like college, life after college is still a journey and not a race. When you go through an existential crisis, take it as a sign to slow down and re-evaluate your priorities and choices in life as they align with your values.
Stage 5: Finding your rhythm
Now that you’ve gotten past the shock of life after school, you’re starting to get into a rhythm of work and rest. Slowly but surely, you’re setting personal and professional goals, and figuring out a routine that works for you. You’re learning how to work with other people and learning how to manage yourself. Remember to do things outside of work that you love, too. Huwag kalimutan, you can still have fun as an adult!
The learning process doesn’t end even when you graduate from school. The truth is it has only just begun. Huwag mag-alala kung nahihirapan kang mag-adjust, you’ll eventually get the hang of things. Just like you did when you were a college freshman! So, be excited for life after college, too. It’s where you’ll explore your career, learn how the rest of the world works, and grow more as a person. It will be a fun, exciting, and worthwhile journey. We’ll be rooting for you every step of the way. Kasama ka ngayon, kasama ka Bukas!
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Written by: Bea Salcedo